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Author Topic: Germinating Giant Sequoia seeds - how to?  (Read 403 times)

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Offline opticsguy

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Germinating Giant Sequoia seeds - how to?
« on: January 05, 2017, 09:22:21 pm »
I planted Seqouia seelings about 28 years ago up here in the NW corner of Washington State.  Many of the trees are 40 to 50 feet tall and one is about 38" diameter at 30" above the ground.  So, this winter, been picking up the small cones, most still tightly closed and have them sitting in a container outside protected from rain and snow.  My idea is to somehow open up the cones and remove the seeds for germination in the springtime.  I will guess I will have about a 1,000 seeds or more and reading on internet shows about one seed in a hundred might germinate.  I would like to end up with a couple hundred seedlings if possible.

So, my question is; Where is the best website or information on how to best germinate these seeds?
Thank you!!
TK 1220 band mill,  1952 Ford F-2, 1925 Dodge touring, too many telescopes.

Offline Clark

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Re: Germinating Giant Sequoia seeds - how to?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2017, 10:38:10 pm »
If you haven't read this document, there is very good information in it:

https://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/volume_1/sequoiadendron/giganteum.htm

Clark
SAF Certified Forester

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Germinating Giant Sequoia seeds - how to?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2017, 12:02:41 pm »
I didn't read the above link but from our tour guide/ranger talks when visiting Sequoia and Yosemite there needs to be the triggering event.  Sequoias have bark that is up to 3' thick to protect them from forest fires.  Nature has developed them to wait for a raging fire to clear the underbrush and then, from the heat, the cones open to release the seeds.  I'd say cook a few cones on your wood stove (or BBQ?) to get them to open.
John

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64'

Online clearcut

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Re: Germinating Giant Sequoia seeds - how to?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2017, 02:53:18 pm »
Woody Plant Seed Manual, USDA FS Agriculture Handbook 727

    https://www.nsl.fs.fed.us/nsl_wpsm.html

Worthwhile to look over both the general info and species specific info. Sequoiadendron giganteum

     https://www.nsl.fs.fed.us/S%20genera.pdf

Native stands of giant sequoia shed some seed most years. Because they are so small, the seeds need to land on bare mineral soil to have much chance of successful germination and establishment. Seedlings tend to develop best following a fire or other disturbance.

Offline opticsguy

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Re: Germinating Giant Sequoia seeds - how to?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2017, 11:28:40 am »
OP here.
Thank you for the responses and great resources!!!!
TK 1220 band mill,  1952 Ford F-2, 1925 Dodge touring, too many telescopes.

Offline opticsguy

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Re: Germinating Giant Sequoia seeds - how to?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2017, 09:37:40 am »
A follow up on my original posting.
I planted seeds I collected from cones straight into pots and also did some stratification of other seeds.
I am having some success with my efforts with sequoia seeds. So far about 6 sequoia have sprouted out of about 300 seeds. Only one from the stratified process.  This is 2% germination rate, certainly not impressive so far but still springtime. 
Also planted Metasequoia Glyptostroboid seeds, also known as dawn redwood.  Have about 5 of these sprouting so far.
Also gathered up a whole bunch of Beech seeds and almost a 100% germination rate and the seedlings are already 5" tall with big leaves. 
Almost every acorn for a variety of Oak trees have vanished due to the hungry habits of squirrels and chipmunks.
Attended a springtime tree sale and purchased about 98 trees, mostly the Giant Sequoia and am using these foot tall plants for my big tree project.  A lot easier than germinating seeds.
TK 1220 band mill,  1952 Ford F-2, 1925 Dodge touring, too many telescopes.